Galapagos 2024

 

Detailed Itinerary

Diary

Quito Thurs & Friday JW Marriott Quito Hotel
San Cristobal Saturday Fly from Quito to Galapagos. Join Silver Origin
San Cristobal Saturday Kicker Rock is the vertical remnant of a former tuff cone less than 5 kilometres to the west of San Cristobal.
Isla Bartolome Sunday Our ship anchors in sight of the volcanic moonscape of Isla Bartolomé, at Sullivan Bay. Ascend a boardwalk of 388 steps. Passing through the arid volcanic landscape provides a chance to watch for lava lizards. The ultimate reward is one of the most beautiful panoramas in all of the Galapagos Islands – the view towards Pinnacle Rock with black, volcanic cones of Baltra, Daphne Major and Daphne Minor in the distance.
Buccaneer Cove, Santiago   Buccaneer Cove is a colourful inlet on Santiago. Pirates came here in the past. The geology combines some tuff red cones with impressive basalt lava dikes and sills. The erosion has carved caves and shaped some rocks into unique forms such as the Bishop's Rock.
Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela) Monday Punta Vicente Roca is one of the marine sites on Isabela Island. The geological formations, the underwater caves and lava tubes offer fascinating views of the coastline. The South Equatorial Countercurrent hits this part of the archipelago from the west and the water offers abundant food sources for different marine life and seabirds. Marine iguanas also like this area because of the rich variety of seaweeds growing underwater along the western coast of Isabela.
Punta Espinoza, Fernandina   With the gentle slopes of La Cumbre volcano in the distance, the low, lava-forged coast of Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island is a spectacular sight. Hundreds of marine iguanas rest on the black rock of recent lava flows absorbing heat from the stone and defending their territories against one another.
Tagus Cove (Isabela) Tuesday Tagus Cove is bordered by a steep rocky coastline and has offered shelter for ships. The cove is named after the British frigate HMS Tagus visiting the Galapagos in 1814. Already by the 1830s other ships had their visits recorded by painting or scratching their name onto the rocks. From the landing a trail through an incense tree forest leads past Darwin Lake to a viewpoint on top of a spatter cone.
Elizabeth Bay (Isabela) Tuesday Elizabeth Bay is one of the marine sites on Isabela’s west coast. South of Alcedo Volcano and north of Sierra Negra, It is found at Isabela’s narrowest east-west extension where the lava flows of these two volcanoes have connected each other. Elizabeth Bay’s shores show mangroves and specifically the easternmost part, a cove which can only be entered via a narrow channel, has red, white and black mangroves. The bay is used by turtles & rays. The mangroves in the small inlet allow smaller fish to hide from bigger predators.
Post Office Bay (Floreana) Wednesday Floreana’s Post Office Bay received its name as the site was used to leave mail for retrieval by others. First mentioned by Porter in 1813 as “Hathaway’s Post office”, HMS Beagle’s captain FitzRoy stated that it was not in use in 1835 as the island was already settled at that time.Today a barrel instead of the original box is used by visitors who leave their own postcards . Apart from the beach and mail barrel the bay offers good swimming and snorkeling. The area holds remains of a failed Norwegian fish canning plant dating back to the 1920s.
Punta Cormorant (Floreana) Wednesday Floreana Island’s northernmost point is Punta Cormorant – named after the British HMS Cormorant and dating back to the late 19th century. From the landing beach a short track leads to a shallow lagoon that is famous for its flamingos. The brilliantly pink birds skim the salty waters for shrimp and tend to chicks on the nest. The trail then scales a low hillside through scattered Palo Santo trees to reveal an idyllic white-sand beach on the other side of the point where marine turtles next.
Santa Cruz Highlands Thursday Santa Cruz Island reaches a maximum altitude of 864 meters, at high altitudes, weather changes creating microclimates. The species of flora and fauna found near the shoreline are extremely different from those on the highlands. Life in the highlands is much easier due to the presence of fresh water, from the constant drizzle that happens during the dry season to heavy rains that occur during the wet season. Giant tortoises love this ideal weather to mate, feed and rest before their next long migration to the shorelines.
Fausto Llerena Breeding Center Thursday Silver Origin will anchor in front of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, where the Charles Darwin Research Station is located. The station also houses the Fausto Llerena Breeding Cent er for giant tortoises and land iguanas where guides interpret the centre’s captive breeding and reintroduction programs. In addition to these star species, throughout the station there are huge prickly pear cactus trees being fed upon by the pretty Galapagos Cactus Finch. Then enjoy free time in town where local artists have created charming art galleries and corner cafés.
Cerro Dragon (Santa Cruz) Friday A dry landing onto volcanic rock covered by Sally light-footed crabs. Then a walk past a brackish water lagoon inhabited by shorebirds and a volcanic rock cover dry enough to be the perfect ecosystem for the Galapagos land iguana. And we saw lots of these magnificent creatures
Bahia Bowditch, Santa Cruz Friday We  went ashore at a delightful white coral beach called Bowditch Bay, We walked all the way along this and then Chris had a float with a flotation jacket on.
San Cristóbal, Galapagos Saturday We leave the Silver Origin early in the morning, have a few hours in town, before being taken to the airport. Charles Darwin says Goodbye

 

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